Arlene Bridges Samuels
The Eclectic Evangelical @InEssentialsUnity

Will Terrorist Rockets Change Policies of U.S. Democrat Presidential Candidates?

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You’d think that Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and the other Democrat candidates would know better when it comes to Israel’s security aid. For example, Sanders served in the House of Representatives between 1991 and 2007 and currently in the Senate since 2007. A total of 28 years in the US Congress. Warren has served twelve years in the Senate beginning in 2007. Foreign Aid is a significant signature issue in congressional budget decisions. With kudos to Joe Biden regarding leveraging aid to the Jewish state, he said it would be a “a “gigantic mistake.” I wonder now if any of the other Democrat candidates will change their outlook on Israel’s Foreign Aid while Palestinian Islamic Jihad is firing hundreds of rockets into Israeli civilian populations? Our foreign aid helps provide the superstar Iron Dome which is saving Israeli lives. Does that matter? Will most Democrat candidates draw moral equivalence between terrorists and Israel? Sanders and Warren, having served 28 and 12 years respectively in Congress, have an astonishing lack of knowledge about facts regarding the Jewish state. Their recent comments in person and via video at the J Street so-called pro-peace, pro-Israel lobby indicate a glaring and growing knowledge deficit about the value of Israel’s foreign aid to the United States.

Since the Democrat candidates may not have a firm grasp of facts, let’s first look at the mutual benefit of US Foreign Aid to Israel. The United States Congress voted in favor of another ten-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which took effect in 2018. The United States’ total Foreign Aid worldwide is $50 billion, only 1% of the US budget. Israel annually receives $3.3 billion of that $50 billion- and 75% of that 3.3 billion REMAINS in the US in our defense manufacturing industry which employs American workers. With genocidal terror threats increasing against Israel, our security aid is needed more than ever. Our shared democratic values are clear but US aid to Israel helps us most in the practical realm of intelligence-sharing and military cooperation. Israel serves in a sense as OUR “aircraft carrier” for security and democracy in one of the world’s most dangerous regions especially with Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons. Israel is our safety net!

Lest we think the USA is immune to the Iranian threat, remember this: Iran’s apocalyptic Imams call Israel the “Little Satan.” They call the USA the “Big Satan.” If and when Iran achieves production of nuclear tipped missiles, they can then mount them on Iranian ships, sail out of the Straits of Hormuz into the Atlantic Ocean and set their crosshairs on New York, Washington, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville. They now have missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers but are busily developing their ICBMs and nuclear capability. They mean business. And if Foreign Aid to Israel was the only reason for it, protecting the US from Iranian aggression is a fantastic ROI, Return on Investment.

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Sanders and Warren voted for the bad Iran deal in 2015 and its threats have intensified since the Obama/Kerry juggernaut made it the worst deal imaginable. The JCPOA was a pantomime of naïve, ill-informed American leaders who rammed the bad deal into the forefront with a nation that never intended to do anything but seek nuclear weapons to build up their modern-day caliphate. Obama and Kerry forgot or ignored the fact that bullies don’t get rewarded up front. Iran wants nothing less than hegemony in the Middle East and beyond. The behavior of Iran’s leaders today is a direct result of the Obama administration’s ineptness. And Sanders and Warren are part of this destructive legacy which directly affects the security of Israel and the United States since they both voted for the bad Iran deal.

Now Sanders has announced his quid pro quo threat during his J-Street speech saying he wants to reduce Israel’s aid unless they offer better treatment to Gazans. “So, I would use the leverage,” said Sanders. “$3.8 billion is a lot of money. We cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government. We have the right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.” I guess the US Senator does not know or wants to recognize that Israel has supplied thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to Gazans, even when under attack. Does he know that the Palestinian Authority has rejected direct negotiations for more than 10 years with Israel’s Prime Minister? And why does he ignore terrorist Hamas’ oppressive treatment of its own population in Gaza? Warren also touts humanitarian measures for Gazans yet the former Harvard Professor seems to live in denial or ignorance that Israel has supplied humanitarian aid for Gaza including medicines, food, water, electricity, and building materials even while Hamas dug tunnels into Israel to kill the Jewish people.

To her credit, candidate Warren has made some reasonable comments about Israel saying, “America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, a part of the world where there aren’t any liberal democracies.” She’s also mentioned that Israel is attacked “indiscriminately aimed not at military targets but at anybody they can hit in Israel — the fundamental notion of terrorism.”
Now that’s a breath of fresh-air facts, Senator Warren. But she has mastered the art of fence-sitting though making it clear to a reporter recently that “all options are on the table” when it comes to Israel.

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” E.B. White

If either are President, both she and Sanders would reverse Trump’s sanctions on the rogue state. While Senator Warren has a shorter political record about Israel, she didn’t vote for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act or support the US Embassy move to Israel’s capital. Senator Sanders has a long history of anti-Israel positions way back when he served as Mayor of Burlington, Vermont in the 1980s. Then he called out Israel for its “brutal treatment of Palestinian protesters as an absolute disgrace.” In the 1991 House he voted to withhold aid to Israel unless they stopped West Bank (biblical Judea and Samaria) and Gaza “settlements.” More examples exist, among them his opposition to a 2014 Senate resolution backing Israel in its defense against Hamas rockets. Recently, true to form, Sanders voted against the Senate’s Anti-BDS legislation. Sanders throws out a bit of this and a bit of that in support for Israel but what Sanders does best is to consistently blame Israel with his blind-sighted view of terror.

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Sanders must tend to read Arab propaganda only, since he has regularly inflated deaths and injuries in Gaza and makes no mention of Hamas’ oppressive terror dictatorship diverting millions of dollars from its citizens and making war instead. He mistakenly thinks the Gaza border protests are non-violent and for example in a 2016 interview in the New York Daily News, he outrageously claimed that Israel killed 10,000 Gaza Palestinians. Sanders opposed the US Embassy move to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital yet spoke proudly about being Jewish at J-Street and about being “the first Jewish president.” With his policies though he would in no way match President Trump’s outstanding Israel support. He would inflict damage on his ancestral homeland.

Do the Senators, Democrat candidates, and staffs understand that Iran is the main sponsor of terror worldwide? Do the candidates read the facts? Do they know that Iran gives terror-millions to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

I think E.B. White was right. “You can form opinions without getting the facts.”

About the Author
Pro Israel Christian Advocate Arlene Bridges Samuels has held pioneering positions for almost two decades with Israel Always, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, (AIPAC) and International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA's project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Traveling to Israel since 1990, she is now an author at the Times of Israel, contributor to The Christian Broadcast Network and The Jerusalem Connection. A speaker, consultant, and networker, her articles have appeared in Philos Project, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, Southern Jewish Life, ICEJ's Word from Jerusalem, Mercy Ships, and Concerned Women for America. She posts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook and is an active member of a small Anglican church. After attending Winthrop University in her home state of South Carolina, Arlene earned her Masters degree at the University of Alabama.
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